23 September 2013

No need to be ‘committed’

Below is an extract from a letter to someone who said, in connection with our need to obtain a senior supporter, that it would have to be someone
‘who was committed to your political libertarianism, or who was similarly committed to supporting your work on the psychological questions you have written about’
In fact, neither qualification is necessary. It is not necessarily true of those who provide financial support to other academic institutions that they are ‘committed’ to the subject matters or possible viewpoints of the researchers in those institutions. Nor is it necessary in our case. What we do need is a supporter who recognises our ability and thinks it should not be deprived of opportunity necessary to enable it to contribute to culture and scientific understanding.

If you do not subscribe to the modern ideology, people seem to ascribe to you a definite belief system asserting something radical, when in fact one is only critical of some unexamined assumptions underlying their belief system.

So when I picked out OBEs, from the wide field of experiences allegedly associated with psychical research, as what could most easily lead to advances in understanding of neurophysiology etc. I was branded with being a spiritualist because (in the popular view) only spiritualists would believe that people had such experiences.

I have to say that nobody here regards themselves as a ‘political libertarian’. None of us would want to do research on libertarianism even if financed to do so.

People who become aware of our need for support of all kinds, instead of providing some themselves, often suggest we apply to some organisation specialised in some area.

Also people often appear to regard things on my blog as indicative of what my ‘interests’ are, and what I would be writing about if financed to do philosophy or psychology in an academic career.

Actually the blog is very censored and most of the areas which I would research on if I could are too loaded to refer to briefly.

If there are any pieces about bad side-effects of intervention in the modern world, it is only because the interventionist developments in modern society have had very bad effects on people in our position as outcasts.

Attacks by me or anyone else here on what is being done and on the assumptions implicitly made may appear strong, but that is largely a reflection of the monolithic consensus that exists. You say there are already academics arguing for positions such as mine (and hence no need for me to do so) but I have not come across more than one or two who are at best lukewarm in their rejection of the prevailing ideology.

The fact that my suggestion that the ‘child protection’ industry should be dismantled (for example) is seen as radically libertarian shows how far the consensus has moved and how inflexible it has become. Before the war, the idea of imposing the level of interference we now have would have been regarded as extreme and unacceptable.

What we can put on the blogs is minimal. If financed to do so, any of us would make far more extensive analyses than any that we (or any salaried philosopher) have so far made.